Editorial: Every day I’m shovelin’

Trent Ernst, Editor


Having now shoveled my driveway five times in the last two days (note: I’m writing this on Saturday as Monday is a holiday), I’ve decided maybe I was a little quick when I proclaimed that I didn’t want to buy one of those fancy snow blowers because “it wouldn’t get enough use.”

But this, too, shall pass. Looking at the forecast, by the time this hits the newsstands, it’ll be sunny and into the pluses again. Which is exactly what you want after a foot-and-a-half of fresh snow is all that snow melting.

But for now the world is a veritable winter wonderland. Even as I write this, the sun, which was threatening to break out, has once more been conquered, and big, fluffy flakes are falling from the sky.

I’m not complaining. I love snow. I love Tumbler Ridge when it is wrapped in a blanket of white.

Speaking of snow, now is a great time for snowmobilers, snow shoers and skiers to get out and play.

Having recently got a replacement pair of skies to replace the last set, which I broke, I’ve been doing the same thing myself. They’re an old pair, more touring skis than cross country, shorter and with metal edges.

They also have the old three-pin style bindings, and the only footwear I have to go with them is a set of those 1970-style ski…well, boots is overselling them. They’re more like shoes, providing no support for my ankles. I’m working on getting something a little better, but for now, this is what I’ve got.

I’m not a big fan of skiing around in circles on the golf course, but the shoes aren’t really beefy enough to get out and break trail, so for now, I’m taking the middle ground. There’s a series of trails around the golf course that are groomed but not track-set where I can get out into the woods and ski around to my heart’s contentment, without having to worry about breaking trail down a creek or ungroomed trail (last time I tried this, my ski broke through the crust of snow, and my foot turned sideways, snapping the binding on my ski. It took me about an hour to crawl/swim my way the last 500 m out of there) but ski a route more interesting than the golf course.

I know that people who love to snowmobile have been getting out, too. Why? Because I’ve seen their tracks down on the ski trails, and it fills my heart with sadness. As a skier, I travel at maybe 5 km/ hour. Top racers can reach speeds of up to 32 kph, but that’s nothing compared to a sledder, who can easily reach speeds of up to 100 kph.

This means that, in about 15 minutes, I can ski about 1 km. This means I can access an area of about 3 sq km from my house. This limits me in where I can go, basically to the ski trails down at the golf course.

A snowmobiler, on the other hand, can travel up to 25 km in 15 minutes. This means, that even if they just want to ride from home, they have access to 1963.5 sq km of space in which to ride. Yes, I realize that 99 percent of this area is covered in trees and inaccessible, but there are still dozens of snowmobile trails in this radius that can be accessed that are not the ski trails down at the golf course. I know they’re so easy to get to, but they are marked “no snowmobiles, please.”

So basically, what I’m asking here is if you could respect the fact that this tiny area has been set aside for skiers out of the huge area that is accessible to you, that would be lovely. Kthxbye.